The November salaries of Air India (AI) employees have been delayed by a week.
The decision has been conveyed to employees, an Air India spokesperson confirmed. Though this is not the first time that the national carrier has been forced to delay payment of salaries, the decision comes close on the heels of AI conveying to the ministry of civil aviation that it does not have the finances to pay for salaries beyond March.
Last month too, AI had decided to delay salaries, which had led to a furor among employees as the announcement had come days ahead of Diwali.
However, the ministry had intervened at that time and salary and incentives were paid on time.
On November 29, senior AI executives had briefed top ministry officials about the company’s deteriorating financial condition ahead of the crucial group of ministers (GoM) meeting on December 6.
The ministry was told that unless the government immediately released the remaining R1,200 crore-equity support, which has been opposed by finance and home ministries, it would be very difficult for the airline to sustain operations.
AI has a working capital debt of over R18,000 crore. It suffered a net loss of R5,551 crore and an operating loss of R3,472 crore in fiscal 2010.
AI CMD Arvind Jadhav is on record as saying that the airline needs an infusion of R10,000 crore in equity and another R10,000 crore in interest-free loan to regain financial health.